AKC Novice Signs


1. START — Indicates the beginning of the course. Dog does not have to be sitting at start.

2. FINISH — Indicates the end of the course — timing stops.

3. HALT — Sit — While heeling, the handler halts and the dog sits in heel position. The team then moves forward, with the dog in heel position. (Stationary exercise)

4. HALT — Down Dog — While heeling, the handler halts and the dog sits. The handler then commands and/or signals the dog to down, followed by the command to heel forward from the down position. (Stationary exercise)

5. RIGHT TURN — Performed as a 90° turn to the right, as in traditional obedience.

6. LEFT TURN — Performed as a 90° turn to the left, as in traditional obedience.

7. ABOUT TURN — RIGHT — While heeling, the team makes a 180° about turn to the handler´s right.

8. ABOUT “U” TURN — While heeling, the team makes a 180° turn to the handler´s left.

9. 270° RIGHT TURN — While heeling, the team makes a 270° turn to the handler´s right. 270° turns are performed as a tight circle, but not around the exercise sign.

10. 270° LEFT TURN — While heeling, the team makes a 270° turn to the handler´s left. 270° turns are performed as a tight circle, but not around the exercise sign.

11. 360° RIGHT TURN — While heeling, the team makes a 360° turn to the handler´s right. 360° turns are performed as a tight circle, but not around the exercise sign.

12. 360° LEFT TURN — While heeling, the team makes a 360° turn to the handler´s left. 360° turns are performed as a tight circle, but not around the exercise sign.

13. CALL DOG FRONT — FINISH RIGHT — FORWARD — While heeling, the handler stops forward motion and calls the dog to the front position (dog sits in front and faces the handler). The handler may take several steps backward as the dog turns and moves to sit in the front position. Second part of the exercise directs the handler to command and/or signal the dog to change from the front position by moving to the handler´s right, around behind the handler, toward heel position. As the dog clears the handler´s path, the handler moves forward before the dog has completely returned to the heel position. The dog does not sit before moving forward in heel position with the handler. Handler must not step forward or backward to aid the dog as the dog moves toward heel position. (Stationary exercise)

14. CALL DOG FRONT — FINISH LEFT — FORWARD — While heeling, the handler stops forward motion and calls the dog to the front position (dog sits in front and faces the handler). The handler may take several steps backward as the dog turns and moves to sit in the front position. Second part of the exercise directs the handler to command and/or signal the dog to change from the front position by moving to the handler´s left toward heel position. As the dog clears the handler´s path, the handler moves forward before the dog has completely returned to the heel position. The dog does not sit before moving forward in heel position with the handler. Handler must not step forward or backward to aid the dog as the dog moves toward heel position. (Stationary exercise)

15. CALL DOG FRONT — FINISH RIGHT — HALT — While heeling, the handler stops forward motion and calls the dog to the front position (dog sits in front and faces the handler). The handler may take several steps backward as the dog turns and moves to sit in the front position. Second part is the finish to the right, where the dog must return to heel position by moving around the right side of the handler. Dog must sit in heel position before moving forward with the handler. Handler must not step forward or backward to aid the dog as the dog moves toward heel position. (Stationary exercise)

16. CALL DOG FRONT — FINISH LEFT — HALT — While heeling, the handler stops forward motion and calls the dog to the front position (dog sits in front and faces the handler). The handler may take several steps backward as the dog turns and moves to a sit in the front position. Second part is the finish to the left, where the dog must return to heel position by moving around the left side of the handler and sit in heel position. Dog must sit in heel position before moving forward in heel position with the handler. Handler must not step forward or backward to aid the dog as the dog moves toward heel position. (Stationary exercise)

17. SLOW PACE — Dog and handler must slow down noticeably. This must be followed by a normal pace unless it is the last station on the course.

18. FAST PACE — Dog and handler must speed up noticeably. This must be followed by a normal pace.

19. NORMAL PACE — Dog and handler must move forward, walking briskly and naturally. This station can only be used after a change of pace.

20. MOVING SIDESTEP RIGHT — While heeling, the handler takes one step to the right, leading with the right foot, and continues moving forward along the newly established line. The dog moves with the handler. The exercise shall be performed just before the exercise sign. (This exercise shall be considered a change of direction and the sign shall be placed directly in line with the handler´s path requiring the handler and dog to sidestep to the right to pass the sign.)

21. SPIRAL RIGHT — DOG OUTSIDE — This exercise requires three pylons or posts placed in a straight line with spaces between them of approximately 6-8 feet. Spiral Right indicates the handler must turn to the right when moving around each pylon or post. This places the dog on the outside of the turns (see 1A and 1B). The exercise sign is placed near or on the first pylon or post where the spiral is started.

22. SPIRAL LEFT — DOG INSIDE — This exercise requires three pylons or posts placed in a straight line with spaces between them of approximately 6-8 feet. Spiral Left indicates that the handler must turn to the left when moving around each pylon or post. This places the dog on the inside of the turns (see 2). The exercise sign is placed near or on the first pylon or post where the spiral is started.

23. STRAIGHT FIGURE 8 WEAVE TWICE — This exercise requires four pylons or posts placed in a straight line with spaces between them of approximately 6-8 feet. The exercise sign is placed near or on the first pylon or post where the exercise is started. Entry into the weaving pattern is with the first pylon or post at the dog/handler´s left side. The dog and handler must complete the entire exercise by passing the last pylon or post.

24. SERPENTINE WEAVE ONCE — This exercise requires pylons or posts placed in a straight line with spaces between them of approximately 6-8 feet. The exercise sign is placed near or on the first pylon or post where the exercise starts. Entry into the weaving pattern is with the first pylon or post at the dog/handler´s left side. The dog and handler must complete the entire exercise by passing the last pylon or post. It should be noted that in this exercise, the team does not weave back through the obstacles as they do in the Straight Figure 8.

25. HALT — 1, 2 and 3 STEPS FORWARD — The handler halts and the dog sits in heel position to begin the exercise. The handler takes one step forward and halts with the dog maintaining heel position. The dog sits when the handler halts. This is followed by two steps forward—halt, and three steps forward—halt, with the dog heeling each time the handler moves forward and sitting each time the handler halts. (Stationary exercise)

26. CALL FRONT — 1, 2 and 3 STEPS BACKWARD — While heeling, the handler stops forward motion and calls the dog to the front position (dog sits in front and faces the handler). The handler may take several steps backward as the dog turns and moves to a sit in the front position. With the dog in the front position, the handler takes one step backward and halts. The dog moves with the handler and sits in the front position as the handler halts. This is followed by the handler taking two steps backward and a halt, and three steps backward and a halt. Each time, the dog moves with the handler to the front position and sits as the handler halts. The handler then commands and/or signals the dog to resume heel position. When returning to the heel position, the dog does not sit before the handler moves forward. (Stationary exercise)

27. DOWN AND STOP — While moving with the dog in heel position, the handler commands and/or signals the dog to down as the handler comes to a stop next to the dog. Once the dog is completely down, the handler moves forward, commanding the dog to move forward from down position. (Stationary exercise)

28. HALT — FAST FORWARD FROM SIT — The handler halts and the dog sits in heel position. With the dog sitting in heel position, the handler commands and/or signals the dog to heel and immediately moves forward at a fast pace. This must be followed by a normal pace. (Stationary exercise)

29. LEFT ABOUT TURN — While moving with the dog in heel position, the handler makes an about turn to the left, while at the same time, the dog must move around the handler to the right and into heel position. The dog does not sit before moving forward in heel position with the handler.

30. HALT AND WALK AROUND DOG — Handler halts and dog sits. With the dog sitting in heel position, the handler commands and/or signals the dog to stay, then proceeds to walk around the dog to the left, returning to heel position. The handler must pause in heel position before moving forward to the next station. (Stationary exercise)

31. HALT — DOWN — WALK AROUND DOG — Handler halts and dog sits. With the dog sitting in heel position, the handler commands and/or signals the dog to down and stay, then proceeds to walk around the dog to the left, returning to heel position. The handler must pause in heel position before moving forward to the next station. The dog heels forward from the down position. (Stationary exercise)

32. FIGURE 8 — NO DISTRACTIONS — Two pylons or posts spaced approximately 6-8 feet apart. The team enters the sequence with the posts on either left or right and will perform a complete figure 8 around the posts or pylons, crossing the center point three times.

33. HALT — LEFT TURN — FORWARD — Handler halts, dog sits. With the dog sitting the handler commands and/or signals the dog to heel, as the handler turns to the left and continues to move forward in the new direction without hesitation. The dog must turn with handler as the handler turns. (Stationary exercise)

34. HALT — RIGHT TURN — FORWARD — Handler halts, dog sits. With the dog sitting the handler commands and/or signals the dog to heel, as the handler turns to the right and continues to move forward in the new direction without hesitation. The dog must turn with the handler as the handler turns. (Stationary exercise)

35. CALL FRONT — RETURN TO HEEL — While heeling the handler stops forward motion and calls the dog to the front position. The handler may take several steps backward as the dog turns and moves to sit in the front position. Dog sits in front and faces the handler. The handler will then walk around behind the dog and return to the heel position and pause. Dog must remain sitting as handler walks around dog. (This is a 180° change of direction, about turn.) (Stationary exercise)

36. HALT — SLOW FORWARD FROM SIT— The handler halts, and the dog sits in heel position. The handler then commands and/or signals the dog to heel and moves forward at a slow pace. The dog must maintain heel position as handler slowly moves forward. This must be followed by a normal pace, unless it is the last station on the course. (Stationary exercise)